Bug burgers, algae buns and herb ice cream: Ikea’s fast food of the future

[Global] Do you remember Space Food Sticks, which actually were eaten by astronauts? The oddly enticing 1960s product was supposed to signal a new future of snacks.

Now, Ikea is actually developing the fast food of the future. In a recent post on Medium, Ikea’s innovative Space10 lab, based in Copenhagen, outlined the kind of food it thinks we’ll be eating someday.

The choices include hot dogs that are completely vegetarian, down to the microalgae bun; a crispy burger made from bugs; and two varieties of “meatballs,” one derived from worms, and the other from vegetables.

Yum? Well, that’s Ikea’s goal.

Despite its reputation for confounding furniture kits, Ikea is proving itself to be a contender in the food industry. Last year, Ikea disclosed that it was looking into creating a chain of stand-alone cafes, separate from its monster stores.

It discovered that 30 percent of its customers come to Ikea just to eat. (I actually know some of them. It helps to get a good parking place, so you can scoot in, get your plate of salmon, and head home.)

Ikea has turned some of the responsibility for its menu over to Space10, which describes itself as “a future-living lab on a mission to design a better and more sustainable way of living.”

In 2016, Space10 introduced  Tomorrow’s Meatball — a visual rethinking of IKEA’s iconic meatball using alternative ingredients such as insects, algae, and lab-grown meat.

Space10 says it isn’t striving only for dishes that are eye-catching, or even just healthy and sustainable. “They had to be delicious, too,” it said on Medium.

“To change people’s minds about food, to inspire them to try new ingredients, we can’t just appeal to the intellect — we have to titillate their taste buds,” Space10 says.

Now, Space10 has unveiled five other products that could be used to feed Ikea customers quickly, if they’re somewhat open-minded, of course.

The Dogless Hotdog is made with dried and glazed baby carrots, beet and berry ketchup, mustard and turmeric cream, roasted onions, cucumber salad, and a herb salad mix.

But the news is its vivid green bun, which isn’t bread. It’s made with spirulina, which looks like pesto, but is a micro-algae that contains more beta carotene than carrots, more chlorophyll than wheatgrass, and 50 times more iron than spinach.

The Bug Burger uses a version of Tomorrow’s Meatball as its “meat” base — the bug version, that is. Each burger contains beets, parsnip, potatoes, and mealworms, which are the larval form of a darkling beetle.

This one has a bread bun, topped with relish, beet and blackcurrant ketchup, chive spread, and hydroponic salad mix.

Quips Space10: “One bite, and we believe you’ll be crawling back for more.”

The Neatball comes in two versions — one made from those tasty mealworms, the other from regular old root vegetables like beets, carrots and parsnips.

The LOKAL Salad is made from microgreens that can conceivably be grown in an Ikea store. Space10 has been growing them hydroponically in the basement of the lab.

They include three combinations: red veined sorrel, broccoli and tarragon; pea sprouts, pink stem radish and thyme; and borage, red frill mustard and lemon balm.

Each is served with a home made dressing and topped with bread crumbs made from day-old bread.

Microgreen Ice Cream fills out the lineup. It’s been made from fennel, cilantro, basil and mint — and Space10 says you can combine the flavors to make your own frozen herbal delight.

There’s no word on when these innovations might turn up at your local Ikea store. But if you’ve ever visited an Ikea you know that new merchandise arrives all the time.

Is a bug burger any stranger than some of the lamps you’ve looked at? Probably not.


View original article at: Bug burgers, algae buns and herb ice cream: Ikea’s fast food of the future





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